Posted: 15.05.19 at 11:37 by The Editor
Rutland County Council's re-elected Leader has outlined the 'important issues' the authority needs to tackle.
Speaking after the council's Annual Meeting on Monday, Councillor Oliver Hemsley said : “As a council and as a county, there are a number important issues that we must deal with over the coming term.
"With the support of local communities, we need to finalise the next version of our Local Plan to help guide sustainable development in our area.
"We must continue to work hard to minimise the impact of any future development at St George’s Barracks and manage housing numbers there, while maximising jobs and the number of genuinely affordable homes available for working-age families.
“Similarly, the Woolfox airfield site in the north of the county has been put forward by private developers as a possible location for new homes and must be assessed using the same legislation and criteria as all the other sites in Rutland, as and when we have the information required to do so.
“We intend to work hard to retain the best possible services at Rutland Memorial Hospital.
"We also need to find ways to tackle road safety, speeding and traffic issues in our towns and villages, and overcome a lack of national transport funding in order to procure local bus services that provide value for our communities.
“The environment is also an area that we want to focus on, with plans to rewrite our Environmental Policy, in consultation with all parties, and install more electric charging points in town car parks.
“These are all important issues that we need to work together to address.
"They're also opportunities for us to make a positive impact for the benefit of everyone in Rutland.”
Rutland’s Annual Council meeting was held on Monday (13 May) - the first public meeting to take place after county-wide elections on Thursday, 2 May - at which councillors were appointed to a number of important roles and key positions.
Councillor Kenneth Bool (Conservative) was re-elected to serve as Chairman and Councillor Jeff Dale (Independent) was chosen to continue in his role as Vice-Chair.
Councillor Oliver Hemsley (Conservative) was re-elected as Council Leader for the next four years, with Councillor Gordon Brown (Conservative) re-appointed as Deputy Leader.
Councillor Hemsley said: “It’s an honour to be asked to stand as Council Leader for the next four years.
“Having served as Leader for the past 12 months, I know full well the responsibilities that come with the job and take my duty of care towards Rutland extremely seriously.
"Like all of our councillors, old and new, I am absolutely committed to achieve the very best for our residents and communities.
“Almost half the council is made up of new members following the election.
"This is a hugely exciting prospect, with lots of enthusiasm and fresh perspectives. We all share a common goal and it is now up to everyone to work together to do all we can for Rutland.”
Rutland County Council’s Cabinet remains unchanged after Annual Council.
Following the departure of Councillor Richard Foster (Conservative), who stood down at the elections, Councillor David Wilby (Conservative) will take over the portfolio for Safeguarding Children and Young People, in addition to his existing duties as Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion.
Appointments for Councillors to Chair individual Scrutiny Panels were also made as follows:
Councillor Jeff Dale (Independent) – Adults and Health Scrutiny Panel
Councillor Adam Lowe (Independent) – Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel
Councillor Gale Waller (Liberal Democrats) – Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Panel
Scrutiny is an important function of the Council and involves holding cabinet and committees to account – looking in-depth at how services are provided and reviewing and developing policies.
Rutland County Council has 27 seats and now comprises: 15 Conservative councillors, eight Independent councillors, three Liberal Democrat councillors and one Green councillor.
The number of women serving on Rutland County Council has also increased from four to 10, following the election.
The Independent Group, consisting of seven independent members, is led by Councillor Marc Oxley, The Liberal Democrat Group is led by Councillor Gale Waller and The Conservative Group is led by Councillor Oliver Hemsley.
Following the appointments made at Annual Council, members were asked to agree a proposed schedule of meetings for the next 12 months, including dates for future Full Council and Cabinet sessions.
Full details of public meetings and all appointments from the Annual Council meeting will be published online.
Dates for public meetings can be viewed on online by clicking the red button below.